From Caves to Cheesecakes

Yesterday started with a hike through the forest – in Horne Lake Provincial Park.

We donned flashlight helmets and ventured into the dark, cold caves. It was only 8 degrees Celsius in there! I wish I’d worn a sweater. The pitch-blackness (with lights turned off) was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I liked the stalactites!

We got to see a rock formation that looked like a tiny Buddha sitting on a rock in a clear, still pool.

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After the 2-hour tour and walk through the forest, caves, and back, we devoured our lunches at Mad Chef Cafe. Everyone went for burgers and fries. My dad claimed that this was his favourite meal of the trip! He had the ‘Animals Taste Good’ burger with brie, bacon, ham, and chicken breast.

Mom and I shared this “small” salad, which was topped with berries, oat and nut clusters, fried brie, salmon, avocado, sprouts, tomatoes and cucumbers, and beet spirals. Can you believe this was a SMALL? We both ate until we were stuffed, and even then, there were leaves left over. Thank goodness we didn’t choose the large!

After, we visited the beautiful Nymph Falls, where we watched some experienced locals dive into the rushing, clear waves.

Seal Bay was our next destination, a beautiful place full of rocks and miles of sea. We were the only people on the whole coastline!

Dinner was incredible. At 7:00, we settled into Locals Restaurant in Courtenay. We were so lucky to get FREE food – sushi rolls with tuna tataki and freshly-baked wheat bread with butter. Mom and I shared a piece of perfectly-cooked halibut wrapped with crispy prosciutto, a delicious filet that came with vegetables and crispy polenta. The polenta was my absolute favourite thing – creamy, cheesy, and so delicious.

Dessert was equally good – we had the Forget Me Not cake, which was chocolate mousse and ganache. The coconut cheesecake came with whipped cream and mango puree. Both were perfect – and the mousse cups that ended our meal made me so happy. Because they were free. 😉

After a long drive back to the hotel, we all passed out on the bed and slept like rocks. 🙂

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